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The windows are healed!

newwindowint.JPGAll we can say is, wow! (If Chang could see 'em now...he'd never believe it...)

Yes, the stained glass window lights are back, completely restored and re-leaded by the masters at Albert Stained Glass Studio here in Brooklyn, whose gorgeous site I urge you to check out. They really are all that. As you may recall, the bottom quarter of both the lights on either side of the front door had been long destroyed when we moved in 20 years ago, (presumably by a reach-through break-in attempt), and the raw missing chunks covered with plywood. Then, in a final insult, former owner General Chang painted them over with white house paint (we presume it was him, it was his style of "renovation").

This sorry mess was the very first thing we itched to fix back in 1987, although 20 years passed before we managed it. Encountering two broken and idiotically patched windows every time we entered or left the house was bad enough. But such pathos attended our windows'  degradation. The CrazyStable was never built as a luxury model; there is virtually no "detail" except for a few stained-glass windows that were, for their time, close to generic. But, as a result, those windows have become for us like the treasured old watch or necklace that a pioneer woman might have tucked into her luggage in the covered wagon--no museum piece, mind you, but a slender connection to a gentler past and a powerful little talisman of human dignity under duress.  We may have had squirrels, and sewage, and collapsing ceilings...but dammit, we had some stained glass.

newwindowsfront.JPGAnd now it looks as good, or better, than in the (still-uncertain) year that the CrazyStable was built. The golden faceted "jewels" refract afternoon sunlight dazzlingly.  The parts that are garnet and ruby from within are creamy mauve from outside. The delicate cream-and-green border has been replicated so well that you can't tell which parts clung to their alligatored frames for at least 8 decades, and which ones fell in shards to the porch during one sad day or night at the city's nadir.

Next, we finish stripping and repainting the doorframe (sadly, not worth restoring as woodwork qua woodwork ) and refinishing the door itself (whose wood, while deeply distressed, will, I think, come up nicely after sanding, staining, and varnishing).  And last of all, we'll re-letter the gilt number on the door.  Already, I am unlearning the instinct to cringe when I enter or leave. Heads up!

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

                                       -- Blackbird, Lennon/McCartney 


Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at 09:31AM by Registered CommenterBrenda from Brooklyn | Comments1 Comment

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Reader Comments (1)

Those stained glass windows are just exquisite. It must be something to see the light refract through those jewel-like colors. Lovely design, too. Beautiful!
September 20, 2006 at 05:34AM | Unregistered Commenteranon2

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